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Michigan Wolverines vs. Indiana Hoosiers Free Pick 10/19/13

Indiana Hoosiers (3-3) at Michigan Wolverines (5-1)

College Football: Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm (Michigan Stadium)

The Line: Michigan Wolverines -10.5 -- Over/Under: 69 See the Latest Odds

TV: BTN HD

The Indiana Hoosiers look to improve to 4-3 on the season as the Hoosiers face off against the Wolverines in Ann Arbor on Saturday.

The Michigan Wolverines suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday as the Wolverines fell to the Nittany Lions 43-40 in four overtimes.  The Wolverines allowed a late touchdown run by PSU quarterback Hackenberg to tie the game, and after exchanging field goals, the Wolverines finally fell to the Nittany Lions.  The Wolverines had 389 yards of total offense against the Nittany Lions on the day, with Gardner once again needing to carry the load himself.  The Wolverine quarterback finished the day throwing for 240 yards and three scores, while also leading the Wolverines on the ground, rushing for 121 yards on 24 attempts.  I have been saying it all along, but the Wolverines need someone to step up in the backfield.  Fitz Toussaint had just 27 yards on 27 attempts on the day.  The ground game is a key feature to a Brady Hoke offense, and Gardner does not have the frame to keep carrying the load like he has been this season.  The Wolverines offense in general is very efficient, ranking 11th in the nation in points per play, and owning a very solid third down conversion rate of 47 percent.  Michigan has been running the ball about 60 percent of the time this season, and against a high powered Hoosier offense, look for that trend to continue here on Saturday. 

Michigan Wolverines vs. Indiana Hoosiers Free Pick 10/19/13

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Hoosiers fell to the Michigan State Spartans this past weekend, losing to Sparty 42-28.  The Hoosiers have one of the best offenses in the Big Ten with Kevin Wilson calling the shots, but defensively the Hoosiers are really struggling, forcing themselves to be in far too many shootouts.  The Hoosiers offense struggled against the Spartans, but there is no shame in that as MSU has one of the top defensive units in the country right now.  Indiana managed just 351 yards of offense on the day, and while for most teams that is respectable, the Hoosiers are accustomed to much more.  Sudfeld struggled under center for Indiana, completing just 14/30 for 137 yards on the day, giving him a QBR of 32.4.  Wilson ended up going with Roberson, who is much more athletic than Sudfeld, hoping that dimension would give them somewhat of an advantage against the Spartan front.  Roberson did play well against the Spartans on the day, completing 11/17 for 122 yards and two scores, giving the signal caller a QBR of 94.2.  Roberson also was effective on the ground, picking up 20 yards on five attempts on the day.  The Hoosiers will be able to score on anyone they play this year; this defensive unit just can’t stop anybody.  The Hoosiers are giving up 5.5 yards per play this season, ranking them 72nd in the nation, and opponents are scoring over 32 points per game on average against the Indiana defense. 

The Hoosiers are just 3-6 against the spread in their last nine games, and the total has gone over in eight of the last nine games for the Hoosiers.  The total has gone over in eight of the last 11 games for the Wolverines, and Michigan is just 2-4 against the spread in their last six home games against the Hoosiers.

I’m going to take the Hoosiers here.  I really like what Kevin Wilson is doing with this offense, and the Hoosiers proved to me last week that they can score on anyone.  I don’t think Indiana has what it takes to get the outright win against the Wolverines on Saturday, but getting double digit points with the Hoosiers looks too good to pass up in this spot.

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Indiana +10.5

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